Love it or hate it Valentines is now over for another year and the overpriced red heart related crap will leave the shops to make way for creme eggs, bunnies and such like in preparation for Easter. This month, for my column in Daxi magazine I wrote about a previous Valentines day where I tried (and failed) to create the perfect romantic evening, (you can read it online) and it got me thinking as to when my views changed on the day.
Looking back at my teenage years Valentines could be a stressful time (back in the day when we had nothing much to stress about!) It was almost like a competition, do you have a date? Will you get anything? How much does your boyfriend actually love you? What amazing romantic stories will everyone be sharing at college on the 15th?
Back then was a time of generally uncertain relationships, they came and went more often than you could keep up with and it felt like Valentines was a day to 'prove' you were loved in a time when you could never really be sure.
My first proper Valentines (not counting the year before when I got a card from my Mum) was when I was 17 and with my first boyfriend. He arrived at my door laden with gifts, flowers, chocolate and a big helium heart shaped balloon. He may have set the bar a little too high for the future!
Of course all the hearts and flowers in the world don't mean a thing if you are not suited and a month or so later we were no more!
The following year I was with Aaron and he gave me a card - it was all good until I opened it
(this is where I had planned to post a photo of it, but it turns out I threw it out when we moved to Cyprus - it turns out I'm not such an old romantic after all! )
It was an American style number plate which said 'R U MINE' (or maybe U R MINE, I can't remember!) and inside it read...
I saw this card and thought it perfect for the love of my life, but unfortunately my car can't read'
Ahhh, my insecure teenage self wasn't too sure what to make of that!
I'm not sure if he ever brought me any more cards in following years, I know one year he brought flowers, some years I got chocolates but generally Valentines was a complete non-event. It used to bother me, a lot and I persevered for many years buying cards or random rubbish for him in the hope he would get the hint. I sulked and moaned and usually wondered why the hell he didn't just buy something to make me happy and save the aggravation!!
I was always a 'card person', brought him one every Christmas when he couldn't see the point as we lived together but I had to get him one each time just in case he did get one but somewhere along the line I stopped, and then some time later I stopped caring about the lack of card and to my surprise somewhere a bit further down the line I started to agree! DAMMIT! I hate it when that happens!
A couple of days ago, Aaron shared this on facebook...
This was my comment...I literally laughed out loud then. You sir, are an arse, annoyingly right but still an arse.
Of course there is an advantage in having kids in that you can celebrate whatever you want, and they are very easily impressed, also I do love any excuse for a celebration no matter how small. I know many people don't agree with Valentines for children, in the fact that it is a 'romantic celebration' but I explained it to Leo in the way that it is a day to tell people you love them and it made sense to me to mark it somehow.
Leo enjoyed making a card for his best girlie, Leiarna, and it gave us an excuse to get the paints out ( I'm rubbish at crafts, and there needs to be a 'reason' for me to do it!) Louka enjoyed sticking paper hearts onto card and made a card for Nana and Grandad.
Aaron got up this morning and wished me a 'Happy Sunday' - you know, to prove a point, and I felt no need to sulk like I would have once done!
I made some cupcakes this morning, and stuck some jelly hearts on the top, made sandwiches and cut some into hearts and created a 'picnic' style lunch with crisps and various bits and pieces. My parents joined us for the afternoon and we played board games while Aaron worked on the laptop.
No cards, no presents, no stupid teenage competition and no smushy stuff - and you know what? It was perfect!